Watchman Newsletter

Op-ed: With many of our PR tactics failing, let�s use Bible to reinforce our right for this land

YNet News (Link) - Avi Rath (June 2, 2011)

While facing the nations of the world, the State of Israel�s public relations officials tried everything, ranging from the security argument, through the narrow borders and all the way to the strategic threat. Yet it�s not working and remains unconvincing. When we adopt this kind of PR, the world tries to come up with solutions to the security problem: Utilizing satellites, cameras, electronic fences, multinational forces, demilitarized zones and all sorts of other creative notions.

We tried PR strategies premised on various arguments. We made use of the Holocaust, the expulsion from Spain, the Crusades and anti-Semitism. We enlisted all the blood libels to the cause in an effort to prove our righteousness, yet it hasn�t worked either. In fact, we have seen the opposite effect. Suddenly we discover that not only Turkey boycotts us, but also Scotland, not to mention the British academic boycott and all sorts of other such moves.

After trying so many ineffective PR methods, perhaps we would do well to go back to the simple approach � the Bible. After all, we are speaking to the Christian and Muslim worlds. These two religions recognize the Biblical story, the Bible�s truth and its sanctity. Both religions admit that the Jewish People is the people of the Bible. So instead of seeking security arguments to justify our right for this land and for Jerusalem, let�s go back to our roots and speak the Biblical language which the world understands.

Instead of trying to come up with theories and explanations that fail to convince the world, we would do well to go back to the basic verses of the Bible, such as: �for all the land that you see I will give to you and to your offspring forever.� (Genesis 13:15)

Learn from Ben-Gurion

Classic Zionism spoke at rallies and conventions during the day, while setting up communities overnight. This is how the state was built. This is how we established the reality of our life in the Galilee, on the Golan, in the Jordan Rift Valley, in the Negev, and in Judea and Samaria. We created an irreversible reality. Once this becomes simple for us, it will be simple for the world as well.

The role of leaders is to speak, explain, present arguments and produce a proper, serious PR strategy that has a chance to convince the nations of the world. Meanwhile, the role of the people on the ground is to create a reality of natural, healthy and normal Jewish life (as far as it�s possible to consider the actions of the Zionist Movement as �normal.�)

Does it sound na�ve? Not serious enough? Good thing David Ben-Gurion didn�t think so. After the outbreak of the 1936 Arab riots, the British government established a commission of inquiry to look into the events. The Arabs repeated their usual occupation claims (and this was 1936, much before 1948 or 1967.) Ben-Gurion was summoned by the commission in order to argue for the Jewish People�s right for the Land of Israel.

When the head of the committee addressed him and wondered how the Jews can argue that they have a right for the land, as most of them were not born here, Ben-Gurion picked up the Bible and said: This is our ownership deed.

So simple and so true. �